After a day, when actor Imran Khan challenged liquor legislation, the social media world has vented once again in full force, as to drink or not to drink.
So, India, Mumbai particularly, suddenly believes in responsible drinking? The matter is Maharastra state government’s decision to raise the legal drinking bar from 21 to 25. Except India, no other nation has a minimum drinking age limit of an astronomically high, 25. In India after Gujarat, you will also not be able to drink alcohol in Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland either.
Prohibition has not worked in the past, and probably would not work in the future as well. Considering a secular and democratic nation we are. Generally a perception built up around alcohol is associated with "forbidden fruit," or let’s a “patch of rebellion against authority" and worse a symbol of ‘adulthood?’
Professor Ruth C. Engs, Applied Health Sciences, Indiana University believes that legal drinking age should be lowered to the 18-19 bracket. Prof Ruth also stresses that young adults should be allowed to drink in controlled environments (restaurants, pubs, official school, taverns and college functions). In these moments, responsible drinking can be taught through role modeling and educational programs.
So, what should mature and sensible drinking behavior mean?
Let’s skim through some trivia’s around alcohol across the world below:
a. Alcohol is featured one third of all divorce petitions in UK.
b. Over 13,000 ‘violent-alcohol-related’ incidents take place outside bars and pubs/week.
c. Most teenagers know how to buy bootlegged alcohol.
e. Alcohol is believed to be a reason behind 25% of all school exclusions in the England.
f. 12% of males and 7% of females in 16-19 age group display signs of alcohol dependency (source: Office of Population and Census Surveys).
g. Reasons and excuses related with alcohol leads to about 14 million lost working days in the UK every year.
h. Alcohol related miseries also lead to half of all l domestic violence incidents.
i. Alcohol can snatch your body of vitamin B complex which can lead to deficiency and can cause skin damage, depression and diarrhoea.
Piyush Nigam of ApnaTech quips, “If you can choose a government and handle a marriage at 21 - You sure can handle alcohol too!” Going by the history, alcohol is neither a poison or viewed as a magical potent. In India there is no social pressure to drink (barring some cases), young people learn from home from their guardians and parents how to handle alcohol responsibly.
I read a quote somewhere - When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.
Pic Source- wine storage
Text - Palash Das